The government on Sunday said that coal stock at various coal mines is more than 52 million tonnes (MT), which is sufficient for about 24 days’ of fuel required for power plants in the country.

The statement came weeks after shortage of fuel crippled power generation at various power plants in the country.

“As on 16th June 22, coal stock at different domestic coal mines is more than 52 MT, which is sufficient for about 24 days requirement of power plants,” the coal ministry said in a statement.

In addition to it, about 4.5 MT coal stock is available at various goods shed sidings, private washeries and ports and is awaiting to be transported to the power plants.

With increased production, the rake supply from Coal India Ltd (CIL) to power sector has also been at all-time high. The rake loading to power sector increased from 215.8 rakes per day in 2020-21 to 271.9 rakes per day in 2021-22, registering a growth of 26 per cent.

In the current year also (till June 16, 2022), the rake supply from CIL to power sector has increased by 25 per cent as compared to the same period of last year. At the same time, coal stocks at pit head power plants are much higher than distant plants.

The Domestic Coal Based (DCB) power plants have generated a record high power of 3.3 BU per day in June 2022 (till 16th).

“The coal stock at the DCB power plants during this period, however, have not depleted, rather the same has increased from 21.85 MT (as on 01.06.22) to 22.64 MT (as on June 16),” the statement said.

This reflects the robust coal production and sufficient supply to keep up with the increasing demand. The coal stock is sufficient for more than 10 days’ requirement.

During the monsoons, despite having high coal stock at mine ends, the coal companies face problems in transporting coal to the sidings due to flooding of mines and the wet coal jamming the coal handling plants conveyor systems, it added.

Even by the end of second quarter, coal stocks remain high at CIL mines when stocks are low at thermal plant end. There domestic coal production is not an issue.

The coal supplies from CIL are more than the FSA requirements. However, CIL has agreed to import coal for the interested power sector consumers (state gencos and IPPs) and have floated a short-term tender for 2.4 MT imported coal for supply within three months and two long-term imported coal supply tenders of 6 MT each for supply over a period of one year, the statement said.

The ICB power plants and the gas-based power plants have been operating at very low capacities due to constraints in easy availability of required fuel and issues related to power purchase agreements. However, coal supplies from CIL and other domestic sources is sufficient to ensure that there is adequate coal at the power plants during the monsoon season. PTI SID HVA

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